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Brooklyn Knights U-16s fall to Rough Riders, 2-0

After scoring just once in the opening five games, going 0-3-2 during the stretch, the Brooklyn Knights Under-16 boys' Super-Y League team needed an intervention. Not only was the squad not scoring goals, but the team was suffering internal strife.

But then, in Spanish, the team talked it out.

“We started communicating more,” Douglas Moreno said through a translator. “There was a lot of fighting in the team, but after a while we started getting better and practicing more as a team.”

The squad, made up mostly of players from Central and South America, started to turn things around and played its best match of the year last weekend against the South Jersey Barons.

It’s the team’s recent form that makes Thursday night’s 2-0 loss to the Long Island Rough Riders at the Metropolitan Oval a bit easier to swallow.

“We kind of did bad, but we’re going to start doing better and better,” Moreno said. “With every loss we gain something.”

Moreno, who is hoping to play for the Newtown HS varsity team in the fall after emigrating from El Salvador, scored a goal and set up another in a 3-2 win against the Barons on Saturday. Israel Bermudez and Brandon Camacho scored the other two goals.

But on Wednesday, the Knights fell in a 1-0 hole almost immediately as Jesse Lyons headed in a deep throw-in just seven minutes into the match.

“The team plays good,” said Pascual Bermudez, who coaches the Knights’ U-17 squad and is filling in for coach James Caicedo, currently in Colombia. “Giving up the goal early put pressure on the team. Last weekend we played our best game of the year.”

The Rough Riders nearly added a second goal in the opening 40 minutes, but Isaac Elias Hidalgo cleared the ball off the line.

The second half was contentious, with Long Island being booked three times in the opening six minutes. The Knights’ best chance to equalize came in the 57th minute, but John Freddy Castano had his volley punched over the crossbar.

The Rough Riders (3-0-4) put the game away in the 69th minute with Cameron Heffernan taking a touch before scoring from 14 yards out.

The Knights fell to 2-5-3 in the Mid Atlantic division with the loss and head back across the Hudson River to take on the New Jersey Rangers FC Saturday afternoon at Morris Catholic HS.

“We kind of did bad, but we’re going to start doing better and better,” Moreno said. “With every loss we gain something.”

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